cover image Bloodline


Gerry Boyle. Putnam Publishing Group, $21.95 (260pp) ISBN 978-0-399-14030-3

Boyle's effective, low-key sequel to Deadline brings back ex-New York Times reporter Jack McMorrow, who is making a habit of getting in trouble in his new home in Prosperity, Maine. Jack has taken a high-paying assignment from New England Look magazine to write an article on ``Kids Having Kids.'' Poking about a nearby high school leads him to Missy Hewett, who gave up her baby for adoption before moving to Prosperity where she intends to finish her schooling. Questioning local teenagers gains Jack an enemy who shoots up his house and sets fire to his truck. After Missy is found murdered, the police make the nosy journalist their prime suspect. At the same time, Jack is getting involved again with his ex-girlfriend, who left him because of the craziness he got into in Deadline. Boyle deftly establishes mood and setting, clearly defines his characters and offers lots of reflection from Jack, whose subdued first-person narration gives this solid mystery an intimate, small-town air. (Apr.)